Oct 14, 2020
Have you ever wondered why some teams rise to excellence or some organizations excel at innovation? Understanding what drives organizational learning and innovation, and the foundations of highly successful teams has been a personal pursuit for Joanne Perdue for almost three decades. Joanne considers this knowledge essential to accelerating the sustainability transformation.
As CSO for UCalgary she is responsible for leadership and organizational strategy to enable the university to reach its goal of being a leader in sustainability. This work takes her deep into the disciplines of organizational learning, leadership and change management – alongside both the diverse technical skills and business operations knowledge required of sustainability professionals.
Joanne believes there is no more important work. The higher education sector has the greatest reach in preparing future leaders, undertakes critical interdisciplinary research to enable the transition to a sustainable future, and has unique opportunities to model the way forward.
Prior to joining UCalgary, as a practicing architect she combined her aptitude for design thinking, her reverence for the natural environment, and her desire to create remarkable places. This triad shaped a twenty-year career specializing in healthy, high performance green buildings.
She is a LEED Fellow but her work in this area began long before LEED. The C.K. Choi Building at the University of British Columbia, completed in the mid 90’s, was perhaps her most seminal project. It set an exceptional North American precedent for sustainable design, and it demonstrated the power of the integrative design process (then an undefined concept) in enabling interdisciplinary teams to innovate and achieve collective excellence.
Joanne is a life-long learner and is interested in connecting with senior sustainability professionals and academics on: organizational learning for sustainability, particularly those leading change in large complex organizations; and sustainability integration in higher education.
“So I fell in love with the vast beauty of nature, and this instilled in me, a really strong ethic of care and connection to the land, as we would call it, to nature.”
- Joanne Perdue
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